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02 November 2019 20:34

Chelsea F.C. Watford F.C. Maurizio Sarri

On a day when both Liverpool and Manchester City had to come from behind to secure narrow victories, Chelsea also made beating weaker opposition look more difficult than it needed to be. Watford remain without a win in eleven league games – 15 going back to last season - and stay at the bottom of the table, so this should have been the perfect fixture to get Frank Lampard's back on track after their midweek home defeat by Manchester United in the Carabao Cup. And, as expected, they recorded a fifth Premier League victory on the bounce and a seventh successive away win in all competitions. But they made hard work of it. They should have scored more than the two goals they managed, Tammy Abraham's ninth of the season and Christian Pulisic's fourth goal for the club. However, a combination of poor finishing and the heroics of Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster had kept the scores close enough for Chelsea to suffer an uncomfortable last ten minutes after Gerard Deulofeu had pulled a goal back with a penalty awarded by VAR after he had been tripped by Jorginho.

And Watson almost punished them as he got his head to a last-gasp free kick only to be denied by his opposite number, Kepa Arrizabalaga. It took just over four minutes for Chelsea to take the lead. Jorginho stabbed a first-time pass high towards the penalty area and with Craig Dawson slow to react to the danger, Abraham ran in behind him to lift the ball over the advancing Ben Foster. It was the striker's seventh league goal on the road this season. Rather than look for a quick reply, Watford stayed in a defensive shell and allowed Chelsea plenty of possession.

A snap shot straight at Kepa Arrizabalaga from Roberto Pereyra was their sole early effort. In contrast, Foster had to block another effort from Abraham after a shot by Mason Mount had rebounded to him 12 yards out and then leap to his right to touch away a near-post header by Christian Pulisic from Willian's corner on the right that looped towards the far corner and was on its way ion. Fit-again Emerson Palmieri comes in at left-back for Marcos Alonso who was one of those who played the midweek cup match against Manchester United. There is another start for Christian Pulisic who is joined in flanking Tammy Abraham by October Player of the Month nominee Willian. Watford too make one change from their last Premier League side.

free battle

Andre Gray replaces Tom Cleverley. Former Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah starts for the Hornets. Substitutes Caballero, James, Alonso, Gilmour, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi, Giroud. Substitutes Gomes, Mariappa, Hughes, Femenia, Success, Holebas, Foulquier. The referee is Anthony Taylor. FRANK LAMPARD's Chelsea will look to continue their excellent league form with three points against Watford. The rock-bottom Hornets are enduring a terrible season so far and are the only side in the Premier League yet to record a single win. Chelsea arrive full of confidence and have crashed in a ridiculous SIXTEEN goals in their five away games this season. Kick off at 5.30pm at Vicarage Road Watch on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League Live stream on Sky Sports app and on NowTV Watford XI: Foster, Janmaat, Kabasele, Dawson, Cathcart, Masina, Doucoure, Chalobah, Deulofeu, Gray, Pereyra Subs: Gomes, Mariappa, Hughes, Femenia, Success, Holebas, Foulquier Chelsea XI: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Tomori, Zouma, Emerson, Kovacic, Jorginho, Mount, Willian, Abraham, Pulisic Subs: Caballero, Alonso, James, Gilmour, Hudson-Odoi, Giroud, Batshuayi